If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, you have a right to pursue compensation for your losses. A car accident attorney can make the claims process more manageable and help you maximize your compensation. But how much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?
At Truitt Law Offices, we represent car accident victims on a contingency fee basis. This means our clients don’t pay anything upfront to hire us. In a contingency fee arrangement, we only collect a fee if we recover compensation for a client in a settlement or at trial. We take an agreed-upon percentage of the total compensation in the case as our legal fee, so the client does not receive any surprise bills at the end of the case.
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What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is a legal fee structure frequently used in personal injury cases. In a contingency fee arrangement, the client does not need to pay any money upfront to hire a lawyer. The client does not owe the lawyer any legal fees unless the lawyer successfully resolves the client’s case, such as by recovering compensation in a settlement or judgment. Many lawyers will also cover case expenses under a contingency fee arrangement, including court filing, printing, and expert witness fees.
A contingency fee allows a car accident victim to obtain legal representation for their case even if the victim experiences financial difficulties because they don’t have to pay their lawyer until they win compensation. Contingency fees also further align the interests of the client and attorney because the attorney’s payment depends on successfully recovering compensation for the client. Because the lawyer will receive a percentage of the client’s financial recovery as the contingency fee, the more money an attorney recovers for their client, the more the attorney gets paid.
How Much Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee pays the lawyer a percentage of the financial recovery they secure for their client. The exact percentage an attorney charges will depend on factors such as the type of claim, the lawyer’s experience, and the market area. However, it usually ranges between 25 and 40 percent. Some car accident lawyers will use a sliding scale of percentages for the contingency fee. The percentage may increase as the case reaches certain milestones, such as filing a lawsuit or the case reaching trial.
Are There Other Fees in Addition to My Attorney’s Fees?
Car accident lawyers may also collect reimbursement of case expenses the lawyer covers in addition to their legal fees. Some attorneys may include case expenses in the contingency fee collected at the end of the case. However, some require clients to reimburse case expenses even if they don’t win.
Will We Discuss Fees During My Initial Consultation?
You should use the free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer to discuss the lawyer’s fee structure so you understand your financial obligations depending on the case’s outcome. You should ask an attorney about their contingency fee, including the percentage of your compensation the lawyer will collect if you win your case and whether that percentage might increase if your case goes to court or trial. You should also confirm if the attorney will cover case expenses and whether they will expect reimbursement at the end of the case, including whether you win or lose.
Will These Fees Be in Writing?
The Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern lawyers’ conduct, require attorneys to put their contingency fee agreements in writing. The client must sign the agreement.
A written contingency fee agreement must state how the lawyer or firm calculates the contingency fee, including the percentage the lawyer earns in case of a settlement, trial, or appeal. The agreement should list other case expenses the attorney will deduct from the client’s financial recovery, including whether the lawyer will deduct those expenses before or after calculating the contingency fee. The agreement should also clearly list any costs a client must pay regardless of whether they win.
After a contingency fee case, a car accident lawyer must provide their client with a written statement notifying the client of the outcome of the case. If the lawyer recovered compensation for the client, they must include an explanation of the amount the client receives from the recovery.
What Happens If You Do Not Win My Case?
When a car accident attorney fails to recover compensation for their client in a settlement or at trial, the client usually owes no money to the attorney. Attorneys use contingency fee agreements to encourage car accident victims to pursue legal claims. However, some lawyers require clients to reimburse them for certain case expenses even if the client does not recover compensation in a settlement or court judgment.
If a car accident lawyer fails to recover compensation for a client, the client may choose to continue pursuing their legal claims with another attorney. If the client ultimately recovers compensation, they may owe their first attorney legal fees – depending on the terms of the fee agreement between the client and their first attorney. The client’s first and second attorneys may also agree to split any contingency fees earned by the second attorney, often when the second attorney uses work performed by the first attorney.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a car crash, turn to an Indiana car accident attorney from Truitt Law Offices for help recovering the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We can handle the legal details so that you can focus on healing. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation to learn how our legal team will fight to hold those at fault for your injuries accountable.